Household wealth up 3.3% in the December quarter: ASX tracking 0.6% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market shot up at the open and is now tracking 0.6 per cent higher at noon. Shares in The Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) are on the rise after reporting yesterday that they will temporarily stand down over 90 per cent of their approximately 9,000 employees. Information Technology is leading the sectors today with financials coming in bottom of the pile.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 31 points up at 5,029. On the futures market the SPI is 16 points higher.

Local economic news

Total household wealth increased 3.3 per cent in the December quarter 2019 to a record high of $11,309 billion, driven by real (inflation adjusted) holding gains on residential real estate, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This is the strongest real holding gain on residential real estate since December 2009.

Broker moves

Credit Suisse has upgraded Transurban Group (ASX:TCL) from an underperform to a Neutral. Traffic levels are likely to be severely impacted by travel bans, lock-downs and other measures to slow the spread of coronavirus. Credit Suisse expects a reduction in the dividend of -23% in FY21 because of lower free cash flow..Target is lowered to $10.65 from $13.00. Shares currently in Transurban (ASX:TCL) are at 2.1 per cent lower at $12.17.

Company news

Digital medication management company MedAdvisor (ASX:MDR) is fast-tracking the rollout of Phase 1 of its delivery service, reducing the pilot phase to help deliver much-needed medications to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients are able to order, pay and request delivery of their medication all from within the MedAdvisor App. As part of the COVID-19 package announced on March 10th, the Federal Government has pledged $25 million to deliver much-needed medications to those at risk in the community, at $5 per delivery to participating pharmacies. MedAdvisor’s software will also facilitate the pharmacy’s ability to claim this funding for delivery services. Shares in MedAdvisor (ASX:MDR)are currently 31.8 per cent higher at $0.43.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology adding 3.2 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Financials losing 1.7 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is The Star Entertainment Group ASX:TPM) rising 17.6 per cent to $1.91, followed by shares in G8 Education (ASX:GEM).
And Reliance Worldwide Corp (ASX:RWC).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) dropping 11.6 per cent to $11.93, followed by shares in Unibail-Rpdamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) and Vicinity Centres (ASX:VCX).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,609 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 4 per cent up at US$87.34
Iron ore futures are currently flat.
One Australian dollar is buying 58.83US cents.